Category Archives: Republican Madness

Harry Reid’s Nuclear Countdown

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It appears that Republicans have blocked their last judicial nominee and Harry Reid is now ready to employ the nuclear option.

Via Greg Sargent:

Senator Harry Reid appears set to go nuclear — before Thanksgiving.

With Senate Republicans blocking a third Obama nomination to the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, a senior Senate Democratic leadership aide tells me Reid is now all but certain to move to change the Senate rules by simple majority — doing away with the filibuster on executive and judicial nominations, with the exception of the Supreme Court – as early as this week.

At a presser today, Reid told reporters he was taking another look at rules reform, but didn’t give a timeline. The senior leadership aide goes further, saying it’s hard to envision circumstances under which Reid doesn’t act.

“Reid has become personally invested in the idea that Dems have no choice other than to change the rules if the Senate is going to remain a viable and functioning institution,” the aide says. That’s a long journey from where Reid was only 10 months ago, when he agreed to a toothless filibuster reform deal out of a real reluctance to change the rules by simple majority. Asked to explain the evolution, the aide said: “It’s been a long process. But this is the only thing we can do to keep the Senate performing its basic duties.”

Republicans have left Reid no choice. To do nothing is to accept limits on Obama’s presidency unlike that of any previous president. Reid has to act or concede that elections have no consequences…when a Democrat wins.

Jonathan Chait has a good piece on the history of the nuclear option.


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The Nuclear Option

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It’s gotten way past fun and games and par-for-the-course politics. Blatant abuse of the filibuster rule by Senate Republicans is forcing Harry Reid’s hand.

Steve Benen:

As expected, Senate Democrats brought Cornelia Pillard’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit to the floor late yesterday.  As expected, Pillard, an obviously qualified nominee with excellent credentials, enjoyed majority support. And as expected, the Senate Republican minority refused to allow the Senate to vote on her nomination, not because the GOP found something wrong with her, but because Republicans intend to block all D.C. Circuit nominees until their party wins another presidential election.

Senate Republicans seem to believe the “nuclear option,” which would eliminate filibusters on judicial nominees altogether, is unlikely. Those assumptions may well be mistaken.

Speaking after the vote on Tuesday, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said he believed it had come to the point when Senate filibuster rules must be changed because Republicans were holding the president’s nominees to such “a blatant double standard.”

Slamming his fist on a lectern, he shouted, “Their credibility is shredded!”

Leahy, the Senate Pro Tem, added, “I think we’re at a point where there will have to be a rules change.”

As Benen points out, there is no attempt on the part of Republicans to claim that the nominees are unqualified and therefore holding back the vote is warranted. They’re openly and proudly blocking all nominees to the appeals court bench because they lost the 2012 election. That’s it. Until they’re able to get their own people into the judicial system by way of putting a Republican into the White House, then no one gets in.

Enough already. It’s time to release the nuke.


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GOP’s 2014 – 2016 Agenda

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I have no doubt that the actual chalkboard at a GOP strategy session looks much like the one depicted above. It is clear enough to anyone that’s been following the right’s clown show that Republicans have no desire to govern for the next three years. It’s all about obstructing and dismantling and what they can’t get done at the federal level, they’ll try to implement at the state level. They’ve already accomplished much with voter suppression and anti-choice laws in red states…but here’s a bit of good news breaking out of Texas.

A federal judge in Texas on Monday blocked an important part of the state’s restrictive new abortion law, which would have required doctors performing the procedure to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

The decision, one day before the provision was to take effect, prevented a major disruption of the abortion clinics in Texas. It was a victory for abortion rights groups and clinics that said the measure served no medical purpose and could force as many as one-third of the state’s 36 abortion clinics to close.

Nice but you know that this is going to end up in the Supreme Court soon enough. The crazy people refuse to take no for an answer.


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Republicans Rewrite the Ransom Note…again

Republican Government Shutdown Ransom Note  :

Ezra Klein:

Two issues led to the shutdown. One was defunding or delaying Obamacare. The other, as Sen. Ted Cruz put it, was “making D.C. listen.”

What’s been remarkable — and largely unnoticed — is that Republicans have abandoned both those demands. But that hasn’t led them to reopen the government — much less swear off a debt-ceiling crisis. So the hostage remains even as the GOP rethinks and rewrites its ransom note.

Republicans have also abandoned their core policy demand. They’ve largely stopped talking about Obamacare. They’re begging simply for negotiations. Their latest plan, in fact, is for another budget commission:

Steve Benen:

More important, though, in the bigger picture, Republicans aren’t just flailing, they’re lost.

They shut the government down last week, and they’re prepared to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States next week. They freely admit they’re prepared to impose self-inflicted wounds on Americans, on purpose, unless their demands are met.

And what are those demands? Even now, after months of planning and fiascos of their own making, the party’s own leaders and members haven’t the foggiest idea.

Here’s a radical suggestion: maybe Republicans can reopen the government, agree to skip the sovereign debt crisis, get their act together, and get back to us?

Ultimately, it’s not about Obamacare or debt limits or government spending or entitlement programs. It’s about destroying the presidency of Barack Obama which is why nothing short of the impeachment of this president will appease these people.


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